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A feud over a feast rages in Little Italy

In the calzones-vs.-couture feud that’s been raging in Little Italy, no one’s happy with a compromise reached yesterday for the San Gennaro Festival.  

In the calzones-vs.-couture feud that’s been raging in Little Italy, no one’s happy with a compromise reached yesterday for the San Gennaro Festival.

Mayor Bloomberg announced yesterday that the famous 11-day festival in September will begin half an hour later this year and end half an hour earlier.

But NoLita residents and owners of trendy boutiques along the parade route are still furious the smell of sausages will once again waft into their storefronts — and cost them valuable customers.

“It’s extremely disruptive. ... [The streets] are disgustingly trashed the entire time,” said a Mulberry Street boutique owner who wanted to remain anonymous. “It’s a total nuisance. Not only is it the noise, but you also get the smell. People are sitting on your doorstep and drinking and eating.”

“It smells so bad,” said Lili Wyip, owner of the shop Tang Dance.

“Every time they have the festival, we have to close the store for 11 days,” she said. “We pay $5,000 a month for rent, and we lose $250 a day when we’re closed.”

Feast fans say the backlash is prejudiced.

The Feast

This September marks the 84th annual Feast of San Gennaro:

» It’s been operated by Figli di San Gennaro — in English, “the Children of San Gennaro” — since 1996. It is modeled after a 1926 celebration on Mulberry Street when immigrants arrived from Naples.
» Feast participants enjoy green, white and red decorations, and restaurants provide outdoor dining and Italian pastries.
» Last year, 1 million people attended the festival.

 
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